Ranking the NL East: First Basemen

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Oct 29, 2014; Kansas City, MO, USA; San Francisco Giants designated hitter

Michael Morse

reacts after hitting a RBI single against the Kansas City Royals in the fourth inning during game seven of the 2014 World Series at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

5. Michael Morse (Miami Marlins)

The first player on our Top-5 NL East first basemen countdown is well known to almost every Nationals fan. Michael Morse was a fan-favorite throughout his four years in the nation’s capital and was undoubtedly one of the team’s best hitters while he was here.

Morse, 32, is known for his raw power that, when healthy, has the ability to give him 30+ home runs each season. Unfortunately, ‘The Beast’ has had trouble staying healthy and has only reached the 30 home run mark once – with the Nationals in 2011.

After helping lead the Nationals to their first ever playoff appearance in 2012, Morse was held back by injuries in 2013 and only played in 88 games with the Mariners and Orioles, hitting .213 with 13 home runs and 27 RBIs.

While Morse missed time on the disabled list at the end of his 2014 campaign with the Giants, it was still a nice bounce-back season for him as he hit .279 with 16 home runs and 61 RBIs in 131 games – the most he’s played in a season since 2011. Morse was a big part of the Giants’ World Series run and hit a crucial pinch-hit, game-tying home run in the eighth inning of Game 5 of the NLCS against the Cardinals.

Morse has spent most of his career as an outfielder but has plenty of experience at first base, where he’s played 151 career games – including 83 with the Nationals in 2011 and 42 with the Giants last season.

When healthy, Morse has the ability to drive in a ton of runs and carry an offense from the middle of the order. While he could easily have been ranked higher on this list, his injury history is concerning for Miami and he’ll have to stay healthy in 2015 if the Marlins want him to be their full-time first baseman.

Next: Number Four